Thursday, October 07, 2010

Arthritis Impact Expected to Soar CDC Report Finds

/PRNewswire/ -- The already staggering social and economic impact of arthritis in the United States is set to explode during the coming decades, says the Arthritis Foundation in response to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report published in the Oct. 8 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , which coincides with World Arthritis Day on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

"The report confirms arthritis is common, costly and disabling," says Arthritis Foundation President and CEO Dr. John H. Klippel. "The number of adults with arthritis has increased by nearly one million per year and it is impacting the usual activities of an unprecedented 21 million adults. Arthritis also carries a heavy financial burden, costing our economy $128 billion annually. We must as a nation begin to take arthritis seriously and make it unacceptable. With some 67 million Americans projected to have arthritis by 2030, now is the time to escalate efforts to prevent, treat and cure the most common cause of disability in the United States."

Among the report's findings from 2007-2009:

* 50 million U.S. adults (or 22 percent of the population) have arthritis, up from 46 million in 2003-2005
* Arthritis affects the daily activities of 21 million adults, up significantly from 19 million in 2003-2005. This includes:
o 9.4% of the total adult population
o 42.4% of adults with arthritis
* BMI (body mass index) influences prevalence of arthritis
o 29.6 percent of obese adults have arthritis (one in three)
o 19.8 percent of overweight adults have arthritis (one in five)
o 16.9 percent of normal/underweight adults have arthritis (one in six)

"We know obesity leads to and worsens arthritis. The current high rates of obesity in the United States, along with the aging of the population, may be contributing to this increase in arthritis prevalence and associated activity limitations," says Jennifer Hootman, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Arthritis Program.

Take Action on World Arthritis Day

To encourage all Americans to take simple steps that will prevent or decrease the pain and disability of arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation is launching several initiatives in support of World Arthritis Day and as an extension of the Fight Arthritis Pain campaign that launched in Feb. with the Ad Council.

* Do Blue for Arthritis – In observance of World Arthritis Day, the Arthritis Foundation is encouraging Americans to "Do Blue" on Tuesday, Oct. 12 – from lighting up national landmarks in blue, like Niagara Falls, to wearing blue shoes and other apparel. On this day our voices will not only be heard, but also will be seen.
* "Ask-the-Experts" Twitter Party – Get answers to your questions about managing and treating osteoarthritis. The Arthritis Foundation, in partnership with the American College of Rheumatology, will host a Twitter party at 2 pm EDT on Oct. 12. Dr. Patience White of the Arthritis Foundation and Dr. Arthur Weinstein of Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Medical Center will answer questions in real time. Join the party with hash tag #arthritisday.
* Walk Around the World – Moving is the best medicine for fighting arthritis pain. Help the Arthritis Foundation raise awareness as we collectively walk 24,900 miles, the circumference of the earth, by Oct. 31. Visit to learn more.
* Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis – Form a Jingle Bell Run/Walk team and raise awareness and funds to fight arthritis. Be one of the first 100 people to register on Oct. 12 at and receive a free gift.

To learn more about World Arthritis Day activities in the United States, visit Visit for worldwide activities.

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